Broken Stairs and Budgets

How do I break up my day, you ask?

Stairs, my friends. Stairs.

Alas, unlike TRADITIONAL STAIRS, these machines break. For today’s workout, I moved to the rowing machine.

I’ve been on a stairs kick. I like to see how long I can last before total exhaustion, and I like to read while I step (–got that Anne of Green Gables addiction–).  Then I chase it with an upper body session on the assisted pull-up / dip machine.

David and I are having a great debate about Planet Fitness, and fitness more generally. You see, the PF gym is right across the street from us. I would like David to join PF. David would not like to join because he says the chain is prejudiced. A New York Times article from 2006 summarized the issue:

Planet Fitness bills itself as “The Judgment Free Zone.” But in the weeks since Mr. Argibay was booted, a number of members have accused the gym of judging with extreme prejudice, saying the club humiliates members whose physiques are too chiseled and who take their workouts too seriously. And the incident has raised other imponderable questions.

Where do you stand on gym grunting?

Personally, I am happy to keep my grunts at a minimum for a rate of $10/month, $0.05 down, no commitment. (And a $42/annual fee, but that’s in the fine print and who reads the fine print?)

The New York City winter is beginning and that’s my best angle in the will-David-become-a-PF-member debacle.

To David’s credit, he completes a good number of apartment workouts. He keeps a black Patagonia backpack stuffed with cushions and a 45lb kettle bell. He does a variety of exercises with that (squats, presses, etc).

I tell David in a message that:

Signing you up for Planet Fitness is really about me. I am more motivated to have a kickass workout when you’re there.

And that’s true. Besides, you get over the awful purple and yellow branding after a little while. And the place makes for good people watching.

David says I don’t listen to him when we workout together. I explain that it’s because I always saw him in the friend-partner role, not the trainer role.

Ah, relationship fun. But you know what they say: couples who sweat together, stay together.

On a separate note and not entirely unrelated to buying David a gym membership, I want to:

A) Check-in on my finances and budgeting
B) Get better at giving people gifts

Doing A always helps me feel better about doing B, especially when costs money. Any tips for becoming a better gift-giver?

(We are fast-approaching the season of giving.)

Alert! David is writing a guest post tomorrow! Look for it. Who knows? Maybe there will even be some wife-o-meter data…

Alumni Lacrosse Game

Reuniting with David! was the highlight of this day. I woke up, scarfed a nature valley bar and kickstarted the 5 hour drive to Boston from Syracuse. I was aiming to be at his lacrosse game when it started at 2pm.

Unfortunately, he had the wrong field location. It was a quick fix.

When I got settled at the other field, I enjoyed watching him play. I made a friend on the bleachers and we got Starbucks together during the beginning of the second game.

Alums beat current players!

Reception was great. Ate food, made friends, then drove home in time to see Mom and Mitch. Visit with the family was much needed. We did a late night jacuzzi dip and then hit the hay.

Past Bedtime

Husbometer data is coming along.

Weeks Average of Score
1 0.62
2 0.57
3 0.54
4 0.55
Grand Total 0.57

David and I are eating stress sandwiches at work. My commute is slowly killing me. We come home and initiate immediate cuddle therapy. David encouraged me to gym when I was low on energy and it helped.

I am not as prepared for my conference as I would like to be… Alas, it begins tomorrow and Friday. I will have to make-do.

Time for sleep.

Higher Education

I raced in the door after my 1.5+ hour commute home. I called David when I got off the subway.

Hey babe, can you help me? Can you get the lap top set up on the kitchen counter and reheat some food? I think there’s still leftover pasta in the fridge. My class starts at 7, and it is 7.

I’m not actually paying attention to the asynchronous course content like I want to because my brain is tired and my body is angry. Why can’t I better protect the time I had carved out for fitness?

I, and all of my classmates, couldn’t access the synchronous session tonight. My levels of stress were too high to stay committed to the troubleshooting process.


I rage-posted to Facebook.

Facebook screencap. Venting on Facebook.

This is a very small nighttime anecdote, not worthy of my long-building frustration. Has it peaked? Will I forget these feelings when I meet graduation again?

I count my blessings for David’s support, encouragement and little things. In the space of 15 minutes, he let me cry, yell and cuddle. That’s some grade-A husband healing.

Other weird, defining moments of my day:

  • Starting the day with a disagreement about car responsibility and parking
  • Not being able to find parking, driving to Brooklyn
  • Meeting the amazing J. Chrastka for the first time
  • Free bagels and cream cheese
  • Meeting Johannes, NYPL marketing superhero
  • Working on a campaign for a public library in New Jersey (specifically a revamp of their YES committee’s Facebook presence)
  • Wearing sun glasses on the subway
  • David and I imagining life together with a baby
  • Good friend, Allison, and new sister-in-law, Caroline, reaching out to lend their support about my higher education rage

Final thoughts:

We preach the goodness of higher ed without a particularly critical eye toward what students are asked to spend (or assume in debt), or a careful examination of what is actually gained.


I am presenting a lightning talk and poster for the upcoming Academic Libraries Conference: The Library is Open hosted by the Empire State Library Network.

Lightning Talk
Open-Ended and User-Focused: Design Thinking for Library Management

Abstract:  Design thinking methods are a huge asset to library leaders. In the age of open-ended publishing, one must be an open-ended thinker. Learn the basics of design thinking and consider how they might be used to guide your projects and teams to success. Encounter new resources for designing user-centered solutions.


Open and Secure: A Look At Information Security in Librarianship

Abstract:  Designed as a primer on information security management, this research aims to bridge librarianship to its IT counterparts and guide academic libraries to probe deeper into issues of privacy, security and authorized access.

While I ready my conference materials, David is trying to order a new cell phone to replace his broken Galaxy. He’s frustrated with the ordering process.

We do squats together. It’s exciting to see him getting back into fitness after a hiatus he attributes to the most recent bike accident. He then preaches the Dorian Yates philosophy, which he explains:

Blast a muscle group, medium to low weight. Nobody is successful in bodybuilding without going to failure. Not the case in power-lifting because you’ll break your body.

He talks about steroid use. “You can work out any part of your body that’s not tired from yesterday’s workout.” “It’s about the skill of learning to destroy your muscle.” He throws blood and lactic acid into the conversation, and talks about the difference between going into the gym following a piece of paper versus listening to your body. He does hip lifts off the ground while sharing his thoughts. He speaks of blasting his quads then his glutes.

We break for dinner, and then settle into our respective distractions.

I’m watching Mystic Pizza for the first time! David plays League. He’s wearing the flannel that belonged to my Grandpa. I unpacked it today. It feels good to see it. I am reminded of family – passed, present, and yet to come.

It turns to autumn in the movie, and I’m reminded of the seasonal changes around me.

This scene occurs, and David walks in the room after doing the dishes:

Image result for nympho scene mystic pizza
Jo faints at the altar and can’t commit to marrying Bill, despite loving him. They stay in a relationship. He asks Jo for commitment, Jo asks him for sex. Egged on by lusty Jo, he gets caught with his pants down by Jo’s Dad. He paints over her name on the boat with “NYMPHO”.

I tell him I’ve learned the word nympho. He gives me the side look. Multiple times.

As he exits the rooms, he pauses repeatedly,
gives the look –
then continues on.

I can’t help laughing.

He retrieves two cups of hot lemon-ginger tea. The husbometer gets a big nighttime boost.

The boost helped after a low-scoring day in communication. That is to say, we talked about the Blasey-Ford-Kavanaugh fiasco and Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. We also had a few skirmishes during the car inspection field trip. Tangent: I got my second NYC parking violation today. Apparently, you need to get your car inspected annually in New York state. The last ticket –illegible, in my defense– was for an expired inspection sticker. We got the car inspected in record time and David performed heroically. But he tried to explain his work to me and didn’t like that my oppositional remarks.

The columns go by (from left to right): Category, Date, Score (0-1, with .5 being average), Week. Sometimes I make notes in a fifth column on the right.

Sex (Quantity, Quality) 10/7/18 1 4
Communication 10/7/18 0.4 4
Chores 10/7/18 0.6 4
Fitness & Health 10/7/18 0.6 4
Cashflow 10/7/18 0.6 4
Friendship 10/7/18 0.6 4
Dealing w/ Everybody Else 10/7/18 0.5 4
Food 10/7/18 0.5 4
Little things 10/7/18 0.6 4

Only 17 minutes left of the movie.

YOUNG MATT DAMON. And the words:

Keep going to library, okay?


Sold. 100% SOLD. This may be my new favorite movie.

I finally upload the wedding photos to an album on the Facebook server farm. So many good memories. Let the likes roll.


Actual footage of me today? Where has my energy gone?

I choose a wedding photo for this post. As I settle on a photo from the circle dance at our reception, I wonder how all our people are doing.

David plays League of Legends beside me. “Really laid my body on the line that game,” he says, coming out of a defeat.

No big events today. Nice cuddle moments, some small accomplishments, nursing my health. Energy levels are way below average. I’m growing excited for an upcoming yet unplanned trip to California. I’m worried about pest problems in the apartment.

Husbometer is making a rebound today. Some observations:

  • overall data clustering around an average of .6
  • only 2 data points falling below .5

Thinking about data… I would like to take advantage of my access while I’m still a graduate student at Syracuse. There are so many skills still to gain…

Time to do my (100) pre-bed squats. Will this stay a ritual? Here’s the squatting soundtrack (also on theme for today):